Saying no to gender violence

South Africa knows, as other African countries, an important proportion of rapes, many of them occurring at school. South-African born, Monica Clarke created "I Protect Me", a project to fight rape by introducing a training to self-defence that gave excellent results in Kenya. SDFE and SDIA are supporting this initiative.
What can we do in case of sexual assault?  
“I was almost raped by four men after I’d alighted from a bus in Kangeni. This was at around 7pm and it was drizzling,” said Susan Wairimu (see East African Standard, Nairobi, 9.2.2001).

The men surrounded her. “I was grabbed by two of them, one in front and the other behind holding my neck. I immediately remembered some tactics I was taught by Dolphin Anti-rape Group.”
Susan poked the man in front in the eyes with two fingers. She kicked the man behind her in the shin. Both men let go and she ran, shouting, to her house about 200 meters away. 
Dolphin Anti-rape Group, Kenya, and I PROTECT ME (IPM), South Africa  
Dolphin Anti-Rape and Aids Control Outreach have been teaching children in schools and women’s groups in Nairobi, Kenya, how to defend themselves against sexual violence since 1998. They have taught about 1 million school children and have collected many success stories such as Susan’s. 

South Africa, the “Rape Capital of the World” needs this training. There, a woman is raped every 17 seconds, a third of men admit to raping someone, and a quarter of school boys say that “jackrolling” (their lingo for gang rape) is “fun.”   

Three women have come together in Cape Town to register a non-profit organisation called I PROTECT ME (IPM). They are asking Dolphin to help them implement the training programme.  

“We believe that the fight against AIDS cannot succeed if we do not fight rape as well,” says founder Monica Clarke. “The police are not keeping us safe. 85% of safety is in our own hands, so we are going to do it ourselves.”  
Susila Dharma collaboration  
SDIA and SD France have come together to help IPM by sponsoring the airfares for two trainers from Dolphin to go to South Africa in April 2014 to start the training in Manenberg, a hotspot for violence in Cape Town.   

Dolphin will train the first 12 volunteers, mostly unemployed men and women over 18 years of age, to become self-defence instructors. Then the qualified instructors will go into schools to start the training where, within 2 hours, four trainers can teach up to 500 children the skills. Boys are going to be given special awareness classes to change attitudes. Men who live around the schools will be invited to come forward to be trained, for they will act as role models for boys outside the school grounds. And women who have been victims of rape are especially being asked to come for training as Instructors, to help others and to turn their pain into power.  

In October, Monica witnessed the Dolphin training in Nairobi, and writes “I saw them give 2 hour sessions to three groups of about 500 primary school children who, with song, dance and repetition learnt lessons such as ‘Nobody has the right to touch my private parts,’ while each child with exaggeration touched their own private parts between whoops of laughter whilst dancing – and I could see the lesson sink in like water into dry sand.”  

The Department of Education in the Western Cape have entered into a partnership with IPM and are opening the school doors for this dynamic training. In Nairobi, sexual attack has been reduced by up to 25% in certain areas.  

You can watch a sample of the training here [Dolphin Anti-Rape & AIDS Control Outreach]. Equipping young girls with the skills they need is very cost-effective ($1 per child in a school) and IPM needs funding, for example to help pay the expenses of trainees.  
SDFE - SDIA -Dolphin Anti-Rape Group
South Africa
2014 -